Taiwan, an island set on the west side of the Pacific Rim, and home to 23 million
people. Pigeon racing is national obsession sport, with over 30 thousand fanciers
keeping 1 million pigeons. Competition amongst Fanciers is fierce and regulation is
very rigorous. Why? Because in Taiwan it’s all about money!
Taiwan was very quick to adopt electronic pigeon timing systems. However the
regulators and fanciers quickly found that the omnipresent ETS offerings still did not
meet the high security demands in Taiwan, since there is always a minority of
unscrupulous cheats that have always managed to find and exploit security gaps for
personal gain. In 2004, a new product emerged from this environment – the
Topigeon timer. The benefit of using Topigeon, including improved security through
using technology and data transparency to provide fanciers more convenient
environment, has caught all fanciers’ eyes and introduced a whole new era of pigeon
racing in Taiwan. In just 3 to 4 years Topigeon has won over 40% of the Taiwan
market. So, let’s take a look at how Topigeon pulled this off?
SMS is a simple function, but it transforms anxious waiting into pleasure and fanciers
can be more relaxed in their racing. When first pigeon is sighted, the club will send a
message to remind all fanciers to go to their loft and prepare for their own pigeons’
return. For every arrival, the SMS is not only sent to the fancier, but is also
transferred to a powerful backend cloud database. The Club officer and fancier are
able to inquiry the overall race status from the website in real time. Timing
information is integrated with a graphical information system showing chronological
arrivals on a geographic template. Also, any data inconsistency, such as incorrect
landing position or chip ring ID not matching, the system will alert the club officer to
initiate immediate investigation.
The anti-fraud measure mentioned above, is the application by integration with
geography position system (GPS). A GPS module is embedded in Topigeon timer as
standard component. Other than providing the loft and therefore the pigeon’s arrival
co-ordinate information, GPS can also synchronize the loft clock. The GPS can
continually check for and synchronize the time not just for club system but also for
the loft clock. With Club and fancier’s time synchronized to the same clock signal no
time variations should arise. Topigeon timer also can behave as a pigeon transporter
tracking device, by plugging into a cigarette socket. The tracking device will, atdetermined time intervals, send the transporter’s exact co-ordinates to the backend
server through GPRS/3G data transfer. So, whether during training or racing, the
fancier can always monitor the transporter and liberation point by internet. This is
also significantly improving the transparency of the sport.
UID (Universal ID) is also utilized by Topigeon to the pigeon racing market. UID is the
chip ring code which the manufacturer, e.g. NXP, burns into the chip during
manufacture. The UID is absolutely unique and cannot in itself be cloned. Whereas,
the life ring and chip ring number can more easily clone or re-written. The FCI itself
insisted upon a random hex code being added to the e-ring code at basketing, but
even then signal interception and skimming/saving the secret code can take place. By
cross reference of UID, e-ring, life ring and pigeon history information on the cloud
database, any attempts at cheating attempting can be discovered.
Using the GPRS/3G data transfer brought the Topigeon timer to the next level. It
provides a platform of integration with a cloud server database with all information
mentioned. Hence the platform provides powerful real-time capability to meet the
clubs’ and fanciers’ needs. Most importantly, GPRS/3G provides real-time remote
monitoring for both club and fanciers during a racing. When a race starts and the
timer is mounted in the loft and powered up, the timer will begin to send loft
information back to club every 2 minutes via GPRS/3G. The club officer can monitor
all fanciers’ current loft status. Any abnormal situation will be alert back to club, such
as a failed connection to the landing pad. The club will also send the real-time race
status back to timer, such as total number of birds return. Such information can be
easily accessed from the timer’s main menu.
Now let’s take a look of how Taiwan club using the Topigeon timer. This is Southern
Taiwan Club, the biggest club in southern Taiwan. There are now in basketing process.
Even when there are hundred fancier gathered at the club, they queue in orderly
fashion and work with the club staff. The fancier bring their birds to the club staff for
inspection and marking. Since Topigeon timer now is the standard equipment all
racing record already load into the timer. The club staffs working more efficiently and
shorten the process time. In the end, fanciers are happily brought their timer home
and ready for tomorrow’s racing. Because they know that Topigeon is a trustworthy
timer and guarantee the race will be proceed in open and fairness way.
In the past 40 years, we have moved from mechanical puncture clocks through to
battery/quartz printing clocks then on to the first type of digital data recording andprinting (like T3), and latterly to a range Electronic Timing Systems (known as ETS). However, these ETS are remains at setting and reading clocks they still leave the job
very much half done as they make little or no attempt to digitizing the entire race to
achieve much wider benefits.
Thanks to Topigeon’s continual investments, modern technology such as
Internet/SMS/GPS and cloud database, have been introduced into pigeon racing and
brought with it more fun, transparency, control, and security. Let’s embrace this new
generation of electronic timing system now!